Cameron Alexander: Pop Punk Rocker On The Rise
Cameron Alexander: Pop Punk Rocker On The Rise
Cameron Alexander is an emerging force in the pop punk scene who effortlessly bridges the gap between the old and new. With a deep respect for the genre’s pioneers and a keen ear for contemporary trends, he crafts a captivating blend of nostalgia and modernity. Cameron’s latest single is entitled Time To Break Up, solidly produced by Justin Cortelyou (Taylor Swift, Alice Cooper, Hollywood Vampires) and Liam Muckala (Anthony Amorim, Tornsey, Eva Snyder)! Along with the dynamic music video, Cameron has unleashed a pop punk anthem for the ages. Highwire Daze recently interviewed Cameron Alexander to find out more about Time To Break Up and his other absolutely amazing songs! Read on…
Where are you based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
I’m based out of Nashville, Tennessee, and the local music scene there is really awesome. A lot of people think that it’s just country music, just bars playing cover songs and whatever, but it’s really a thriving music city and I really love living there. I go to a music school down there too, and there’s just like a huge scene of people my age that really love all types of music, so it’s really awesome to be down there and be doing a genre that’s not as popular in Nashville like pop-punk because Country is big and indie rock is really big. There is a decent punk scene. But it’s pretty cool to have like a little bit more of a niche genre because it helps stand out.
Let’s talk about the new single, Time To Break Up. Is there any overall story or concept behind the single?
Yeah. The story for that song was sort of something that came together and I didn’t really think it would come together that way. I mean it’s a relationship song and I was in a relationship was going and I just didn’t feel like it was going anywhere. I felt like I had gotten what I was going to get out of it, and it was kind of just time to go our separate ways. But ripping the band-aid off still hurts. That’s kind of what the song was about. The relationship kind of came to an end one night, and then I had a studio session with my producer the next morning, and I got in the studio and basically just told him whatI was feeling. Then I was like, “Oh, hey, I also came up with this guitar riff, what do you think?“
We laid down the guitar riff and then I just kind of started writing some lyrics. I didn’t really even know what I was writing about at the time, and I wasn’t really sure about it. But after some time and after I finished the song, I really grew to love it. I really grew to love the message and the vibe because like in pop Punk, there’s just a ton of breakup songs that are all like, “Oh, you broke my heart and I’m devastated and this is awful, and whatever.” But that wasn’t the case for this song. It felt really melancholy, but like just happy and content in a weird way. It felt really cool to write that song.
One of your producers on the video, Justin Cortelyou, has worked with the likes of Taylor Swift and Alice Cooper. What was it like working with Justin and how did he become involved?
Working with Justin is awesome. So my other producer, Liam Muckala, is someone I’ve been working with for coming up on three years now. I just met him basically through Instagram. I was moving to Nashville and I wanted to get music recorded. I basically just found him on Instagram and said, “Hey, what’s up?” I took a shot and it ended up being really cool and I love working with him. Liam still does work with Justin on a few random projects here and there. One day Liam just showed Justin my music and Justin was like, “Oh, this is awesome. I’d love to meet this guy.” Then me and Justin met up one day and sort of hit it off and I showed him Time To Break Up and he really liked that song too. He came in towards the end of the process – like the song was already written. But he definitely added a lot of really cool layers and helped mix it and it was a great time unpacking the song with him.
In the video, there are several shots of you driving and singing and everything. What was that like driving and singing at the same time? Was there like a pulley to the car or anything like that?
That was super fun to do. It came together really nicely. No, it was actually just a photographer standing up, just holding on for dear life as I was driving
Let’s talk about a few of your other songs too. Tell me about Arrows and the story for that song.
So, Arrows is another relationship-centered song that’s kind of about conceptually getting out of a relationship and being in the dump about it and kind of using that as an excuse to just treat yourself badly. That’s kind of like something I was experiencing and something I was thinking about a lot. So I just wanted to write a song about that and make it a little bit more cheesy and fun and self-deprecating.
Then before that, you released a song called Tongue Tied. Tell me about that one.
Tongue Tied is a cover of a song called Tongue Tied by Grouplove. That song is just a really cool song I always loved. I love how in the pop punk scene, a lot of people do punk covers of pop songs, and I always wanted to do that. Tongue Tied seemed like a great option and then I sat down with my guitar and started coming up with parts and I was like, “Yeah, this needs to happen.” Actually, it was just going to be a cover to do live and I was recording backing tracks for it, and then when I started recording it backing tracks, me and my producer were like, “Yeah, this needs to be a full thing.” We decided to go for a full studio release version.
Let’s talk about Amelia. Tell me a little about that one.
Amelia is yet another girl and she’s actually a real girl. Her name’s actually Amelia. She was like a girl I sort of chased around in my senior year of high school. It was just like a very memorable moment in my life graduating high school and life being super different and strange for the first time. I kind of had this girl I was chasing around and I wanted to date and wasn’t sure if she wanted to date. So that song was basically just about the chase and having fun with it. I’m from New Orleans, so the cover art is like Mardi Gras themed and Amelia Street is actually like the street that you go on as a teenager and drink and make out with people. So it was a fun little like, songwriting thing.
Do you know if Amelia has ever heard it?
Yeah. She has heard it. She hit me up the day it came out. What did she say? She was like, “Oh, where’s my check going to be for the streams or whatever.” I was like, “Oh, you can just take it up with my manager. You’ll have to contact his email.“
How close are you to releasing an EP or a full-length? Is that something you’d like to do?
Yeah, that’s something I would love to do. I think full-length is going to be slightly more in the future just because I want to really be able to do that right. I mean, I’ll see what happens. I’d really just like to do it right, so if that means needing a label for it or needing to wait more to fund it, or wait for more life experience to write amazing songs for it, then so be it. I don’t really want to rush a full length by any means, but it is something I would love to do. But an EP is something that is a lot more possible, and I definitely want to release it in the next few months within like a year.
What could one expect from a live Cameron Alexander show?
You can expect a lot of jumping around and sweating and screaming and obscenities, probably but overall, it’s just a super fun time. Live shows are basically what got me into music. It’s what I love so much about Pop Punk, is that it’s just like so much raw, unfiltered, fun energy, and that’s what I want to bring to my live shows, what I try to do.
If you could open for any band or artist, either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
I feel like it would have to be Blink 182. They’re just the cornerstone band for me. I just love them. Being able to open up for them, I could die happy.
Is there any chance of you playing shows out here on the West Coast in Los Angeles, Orange County, or anything like that?
Yeah, I would totally love to. I think it’s totally possible. I have some friends out there, so I definitely want to work on that. That would probably be something that happens in the summer months or maybe some holiday like the December area when it’s easier to travel for me. But I would totally love that because the California scene is great for pop punk, and I definitely want to get out there someday. I could imagine living out there someday.
Has anyone from Jimmy Eat World heard or commented on your cover of Sweetness?
No, they haven’t.
What made you decide to cover that one song?
I honestly don’t know. I didn’t expect you to bring that up either. That feels so long ago. But no, I love that cover. That was at the beginning of my senior year of high school. I don’t really know what made me do it, but I think I had just gotten the Telecaster I was using in that video, and I was listening to a lot of Jimmy Eat World at the time, and I was debating whether or not I wanted to get his signature guitar. I was just really into Jimmy Eat World at the time and playing Sweetness a lot. I just was like, “Oh, I’m just going to cover this. I’m just going to go for it.”
If your music was a donut, what kind would it be and why?
Man, that’s a question that you should have prepared me for. I want to sleep on a question like that, but I feel like it’s a pink frosted with sprinkles because it’s bright, fun, and delicious.
Are you currently involved with any other bands or projects outside of your solo project?
Yeah, I actually am. I play bass in my friend Jude Parrish’s band. He just goes by Jude Parrish. He’s like an indie rock artist that’s from Austin, Texas. He’s awesome. We met in college and it’s been really cool working and playing with him. The rest of the people in the band are also like my best friends, so it’s a really cool thing to be able to do on the side. I’m actually in the car with my drummer and the drummer of Jude Parrish. We’re driving back from Austin right now. We have like seven, eight hours to go.
What’s up next for you in the future?
Lots of new music, lots of fun internet videos, and trying to book as many live shows as possible. If you’re in the Nashville area, you should definitely follow me and keep up with me. Me and my friends have a little music collective out here and we throw our own DIY house shows and I play those a lot. Our last one ended up being 700 people. We have one next Saturday that we’re expecting to get up to a thousand and so that’s something I’m up to doing a lot here. So that’ll be really fun to be playing those shows and keeping the pop-punk community alive over there and just releasing a bunch of music and having fun.
(Interview by Ken Morton)
Cameron Alexander on Instagram